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Coffee butts

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 2:44 p.m. CDT

I heard on the radio last night, that drinking coffee is supposedly good for your memory. I think that it has to do with the caffeine expanding your brain neuro-something-or-others. I don’t know. I tend to lose interest pretty quickly.

But that actually explains a lot. In close to 48 years on the planet earth, I have never drank coffee. I have never even tasted it. Not once. Because of that, I now have a terrible memory. I’m horrible with names, dates, birthdays, car key placement, putting on pants, etc. Heck, the other day, somebody asked for my Social Security number, and I was like a deer frozen in the headlights. I finally got it, but it took awhile. My memory is terrible and getting worse. And it’s all my grandpa’s fault.

You see, when I was a little kid and I stayed overnight at my grandparent’s farm house, Grandpa used to take me into town to the local cafe for breakfast in the morning. That was our “thing,” or at least one of them. Looking back, he taught me how to fish, when to double-down in blackjack, how to steer his truck without my parents knowing, and we ate breakfast in town. Those were our “things.”

I can still picture the two of us bellying up to the counter amongst all of the regular breakfast crowd. I’d spin around really fast on my red, Naugahyde-covered bar stool as the waitress came over to take our order. He ordered whatever it is that grandpas order, and I had my usual, pancakes and a Coke. The waitress kind of laughed, and Grandpa lightly chided me that perhaps a Coke wasn’t the healthiest way to start out my day. He told me this while either a Marlboro, Camel or Pall Mall was dangling off of his lower lip.

After we got our food and started eating, Grandpa would keep on conversing with all his buddies about the weather, crops, baseball, Nixon, etc. I usually sat there, taking it all in. I soon noticed that, back in those days, nearly everyone was smoking and drinking coffee. It seemed like the thing to do.

Now, always being the one who wanted to fit in, I knew that I was a little young to take up smoking, but I thought that maybe I should check out this coffee that everybody seemed to be hooked on. So I innocently asked Grandpa if I could have a swig of his. He firmly told me no and said that coffee would stunt my growth and that Grandma would stunt his growth if she knew he was feeding me the dark, warm beverage.

He went on to convince me that coffee was made out of the little bits of tobacco that were found amongst the smoldering cigarette butts that people leave in ash trays. At that time, I happened to glance over at the near-empty coffee cup that his farmer friend had left behind and noticed a cigarette butt floating in the remnants of the brown liquid. Now Grandpa was always good at telling stories, but it appeared as though he might be telling me the truth on this one. To this very day, part of me honestly believes that coffee is made from discarded tobacco.

And since we’re on the subject of coffee, let me tell you about something that I heard on the radio last night. I guess that drinking coffee is supposedly good for your memory. I think that it has to do with the caffeine expanding your brain neuro-something-or-others. I don’t know. I tend to lose interest pretty quickly.

I don’t know if I’ve told you this before, but I don’t drink coffee. It has to do with something my grandpa told me once, but that’s a long story and I don’t want to get into it right now. But this memory thing concerns me.

In my next column, I might tell you about something I heard on the radio last night. Evidently, drinking coffee is supposedly good for your memory. I think that it has to do with the caffeine expanding your brain neuro-something-or-others. I don’t know. I tend to lose interest pretty quickly.

You can contact Wallace at gwallace@bcrnews.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com. You can also subscribe to his comic strip “Nothing is not Something” at www.gocomics.com/nothing-is-not-something.

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